The Melt: Ontario, Quebec to climb out of the deep freeze
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 11:55 AM -
Winter's firm grip on much of Ontario and Quebec will begin to loosen as we head into the weekend.
"A light at the end of the tunnel," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham.
That's after bitterly cold temperatures and intense snow squalls resulted in travel chaos for much of the week.
Airlines are calling in reinforcements to Toronto's Pearson airport to deal with a massive backlog of passengers and mountains of luggage.
The backlog stems from the bitter cold snap that prompted hundreds of delayed and cancelled flights on Tuesday.
Officials say scheduled flights are slowly getting back to normal.
Flight schedules are getting back to normal today. Check the status of your flight here - https://t.co/9Ss3BIxWEb— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) January 9, 2014
"Squalls are winding down east of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior, though a few more centimetres will fall Thursday morning as the bands diminish," Gillham adds.
Periods of light snow across southern Ontario, including the GTA, is also possible into early Friday as the warm air arrives aloft.
"We'll see 1-3 cm for the GTA with 2-4 cm closer to Lake Erie," says Gillham.
Despite the improving conditions, police are reminding motorists to use caution as snowbanks have risen significantly on many roadsides due to the recent storms.
"Much of southern Ontario will see a true January thaw with highs of 5-10°C forecast on Saturday," Gillham says.
15-25 mm of rain will also accompany the milder temperatures, along with strong and gusty winds.
"So, ice jam flooding will be a concern and dense fog is also possible," Gillham warns.
HOW LONG WILL THE MILD TEMPS LAST?
"We'll continue to see mild conditions for the region on Sunday and Monday, but we'll then step back into a more typical January pattern for the rest of the week (typical rather than extreme temperatures swings) with the potential for a return to well below seasonal by next weekend and/or beyond," says Gillham.
The normal daytime high for this time of year is around -2°C.